Honda is developing a new mid-to-large electric SUV for the US market, the automaker announced today. The new vehicle, slated for release in 2025, will be built on the automaker’s new Honda e Architecture EV platform. Honda had previously announced that vehicles on its own platform would arrive in 2026, so it looks like a year earlier than the automaker had planned.
The launch of Honda’s new SUV will follow the automaker’s upcoming Prologue and Acura ZDX SUVs, which are slated for release in 2024. Honda’s Prologue is a passport size and slightly larger mid-size SUV than a small. CR-V. Honda could use a large electric SUV with three rows of seats, which is becoming a hot segment with the incoming family-towing Kia EV9 and the new king of the hill: the Rivian R1S.
Both the Prologue and ZDX under development have been developed with GM and run on the American automaker’s Ultium EV platform. But now that Honda has its new SUV, it plans to further expand its partnership with GM and build more “affordable” EVs based on the Altium.
The upcoming 2025 SUV will debut with its new Honda e Architecture, a new original vehicle operating system and an over-the-air (OTA) software-adaptable platform called Electric and Electronic, or E&E Architecture for short. E&E will “simplify in-vehicle software” and UX/digital services connectivity” — an “increasing part” of Honda’s business moving forward, according to the email. on the edge Chris Martin, spokesman for Honda Motor Co. of America today.
Electric vehicle manufacturers like Tesla and Rivian support OTA updates that change more than just their infotainment systems, and rely on in-house software to create the full EV experience for customers. Honda needs to match these rivals to make the new SUV attractive and functional. It has to compete with GM’s own UX — which won’t have Apple’s CarPlay to hide behind in the future.
As for the Honda-GM partnership, this will also extend to manufacturing strategies, as the automakers will work together to “increase competitiveness in key electrification component areas.” If it uses the Ultium platform, Honda will use GM’s existing bi-style (as opposed to cylindrical cell) Ultium batteries for its announced EVs. Meanwhile, GM is working with Samsung SDI to build a $3 billion US-based EV battery plant, following another four domestic battery factories GM currently has under construction.
But Honda isn’t just counting Altium batteries; The automaker is set to launch a new battery manufacturing joint venture with LG Energy Solutions by the end of this year. For the future, it is exploring its own solid-state battery technology with semi-solid-state joint development with SES. Honda plans to hold a demonstration lineup of solid-state batteries next year, and plans to introduce them to new EVs arriving in the “second half of the 2020s.”
Honda announced today that it will make three Honda plants in Ohio its North American EV production hub to prepare production lines for electrification. The automaker plans to build 2 million EVs annually by 2023, and by 2040 plans to build only electric and fuel cell vehicles globally.